Poor reproducibility within and across studies arising from lack of knowledge regarding the performance of extracellular RNA (exRNA) isolation methods has hindered progress in the exRNA field. A systematic comparison of 10 exRNA isolation methods across 5 biofluids revealed marked differences in the complexity and reproducibility of the resulting small RNA-seq profiles. The relative efficiency with which each method accessed different exRNA carrier subclasses was determined by estimating the proportions of extracellular vesicle (EV)-, ribonucleoprotein (RNP)-, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-specific miRNA signatures in each profile. An interactive web-based application (miRDaR) was developed to help investigators select the optimal exRNA isolation method for their studies. miRDar provides comparative statistics for all expressed miRNAs or a selected subset of miRNAs in the desired biofluid for each exRNA isolation method and returns a ranked list of exRNA isolation methods prioritized by complexity, expression level, and reproducibility. These results will improve reproducibility and stimulate further progress in exRNA biomarker development.
Keywords: extracellular RNA; extracellular vesicles; lipoprotein; ribonucleoprotein.
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